Lets Think About Curing Wounds

Hello followers! Well I am back at it again with a post much sooner than last time. I am sad to say this will be my last post for quite some time, I have decided to step away from my work for the summer and enjoy the time with my children because they are only young for so long. My youngest son, Eli, is actually the reason I am writing today, he is always getting into trouble and getting cuts and scratches. So today I will be talking about a few products being created to improve wound care and create a more rapid approach.

Xiaolei Wang and colleagues at NanChang University in China have been working on a project to create and bandage that will burst and release an antibacterial capsule upon applying pressure. The capsule will act to create three distinct modes being packaged, on, or off. The idea is to take “silver nanoparticles and enclose them in a carbon membrane” (Woolford). The idea behind this is to create a supply system of antibacterial agents so limit the adaptions made by bacteria. The bandages will have two parts, (demonstrated in the image) an upper layer that will contain phosphate buffered saline while the bottom layer with holding the capsule.

The second article I reviewed was written by Jamie Durrani discussing a new material developed with the potential to heal its self at 37°, which is body temperature! This is a great innovation within the biomedical community, creating extensive possibilities for healing wounds. This can be useful in regenerative medicine!. Not only can it be used on damaged skin but also paints and mobile devices. The polyurethane materials upon being cut, will form back as one. It has a structure composed of many molecules so when they are disrupted, the viscosity, or thickness, is decreased. When the temperature is elevated, the molecules will separate providing for easy and relatively painless removal making it effective for human skin. (Durrani)

I correlated the two articles because of the healing properties they both possess, whether it be for minimal or extensive wounds. It is important to recognize they contain a supramolecular substance. A supramolecular substance is one composed of several molecules, in the case of the bandage it is the carbon membrane holding the antibacterial silver nanoparticles. In the case of the self-repairing polymer it is the polyurethane. Both of these products have potential to be used widely in future medicine and could be used greatly in hospital, military, and more treatment.

These two articles can be further connected with a third article which covers the idea of using fish skin to dress wounds. The active agent in the fish skin is collagen has created faster healing of wounds on mice used as the test animals. Tilapia often have pure proteins as compared to pig and cows whom can often have impurities. The collagen is extracted to create a sponge which is then spun into nano fibers. This topic is not as far in its research and testing as the other two but has great potential to be used in medicine.

Well this is a goodbye! Have a great summer! I wish everyone the best in their endeavors, particularly within chemistry! It has been a great ride. Signing off,

Taylor Singleton







The Convention Made Me Rethink My Life

Hello followers! Today I return home from the American Chemical Society National Conference where I spent my weekend viewing many presentations covering a wide genre of topics.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time in California not only because of the taco trucks, surfing, and amazing weather but I learned about so many topics and how they connect to chemistry! If you’ve been following my blog for a while you my last post discussed the idea that chemical elements are everywhere in society …everywhere! Well I am going to take this a step further and review a few of the presentations I observed and discuss why the information they presented on is relevant to our daily lives and the way in which the presenter relays information can greatly affect the audiences ability to grasp the concepts discussed.

To start the delivery of this presentation was very well done I thought this chemist was well-spoken, organized, and kept the audience’s attention.  A point about myself, a deep love of mine is running! Back in my prime, at Centre College, I ran and pole vaulted for the track team so when I came across a presentation being given on running I was highly inclined to stay. As for the content I loved learning about the chemistry within your body as one runs a marathons. One’s body only holds around 2000 calories of glucose to convert to energy and around 100 calories are burnt per mile thus about 2,600 calories are needed so when people get near the 20th mile they “hit a wall”. We learned that one’s body processes oxygen to create the energy. So to maximize the amount of calories runners will often eat a lot of food with a high amounts of carbohydrates such as pasta or breads. Now that the kids are getting older and are less demanding time wise I have decided to start training for longer distance runs and this presentation made me think about potentially doing a marathon….time will tell so stay tuned!

Image result for marathon

Candy? There is chemistry behind making candy? Did you know that? I didn’t! Well folks it turns out that these sugary treats your kid’s teachers give them at the end of the day just so your kids can come home with 10x their average energy level and bounce of the walls (((I’m not bitter or anything))) includes chemistry to make! One example given was the explanation behind how rock candy is made. Basically one puts a sugar coated string into sugar saturated water (super saturated solution) then time passes and much of the water has evaporated, then one is left with a crystalized sugar stick. As for creating an effective presentation her information was thorough and well presented, she seemed a tad nervous but it comes with practice and I have no space to speak on behalf of someone else being a nervous because oh goodness do I get nervous. Anyway I picked it for my top three because of the content! Well done!

To stay on the topic of sweets I’ll address my sweet tooth… CHOCOLATE!! Whether your 6 year olds soccer practice ran over or the kids have fought all day or your boss was a jerk you can just have a little Dove chocolate square and all your problems have been relived. Everyone loves chocolate, well there is a reason for that! Does chocolate contain chemicals? Of course! It contains on average around 300 of them!! Wow. Pure chocolate has quite a few benefits in it such as both caffeine and anandamide, ingredients in chocolate, cause a stimulation within the brain that causes reduction of pain and anxiety. Another ingredient is phenylethylamine which mimics the feeling of being in love. So we hear about all of negative comments about how bad chocolate is for people but then we see all of these positive benefits, so what’s the answer?… Well it’s kind of both all of the added ingredients that make it taste sweeter and more milky are the ingredients that aren’t as good for us.


So to conclude I thought all of these were very effective in conveying their information and showing the audience why chemistry really matters to us. Chemistry effects all vectors of our life and I think it is very cool that this convention took the time to express chemistry so broadly. I cannot wait to go back next year maybe I will learn the chemistry behind taco trucks in California. Also I would like to comment on the amount of times I complained about my kids. I love them it has just been a long week, my oldest got in some trouble with school but everything will be okay! Well I’m sinning off I am exhausted.


Burt’s Bees is Chemical Free?

               Within the cosmetic industry we see many companies striving to produce “chemical free” products to appeal to the consumer. We see many beauty consumer motivated to purchase products they see as natural, more effective, or safer. This week I took a journey to Danville’s finest Kroger. As I browsed I came upon Burt’s Bees Sunscreen Cream. I saw on the bottle the producer strongly emphasizes the statement “chemical free” and also “100% natural”.  I hate to break it you but this sunscreen is not chemical free. Chemicals are everywhere so these Bees are being deceitful! Point blank. Appalled by this statement I decided to buy this sunscreen and do my own research on if my idea of chemicals are different than that of the producer.

Burts Beees Lies

             “Natural” sunscreen, beauty products, and other products contain chemicals… but here is what the common public does not understand. The U.S FDA, United States Food and Drug Administration, does not strictly regulate labeling products claimed to be organic or natural thus when producers use the term “natural” it is often open to their own interpretation of what percent of ingredients in use observe the product in such way. Companies try to use the ploy of “chemical free” as if all chemicals have a negative connotation. When in fact many chemicals are vital to life, chemicals are in everything. Like absolutely everything. Water, humans, food, plants, all of these are essentially chemicals.

              In regards to sunscreen, when a company states “chemical free” all they are stating is that their product does not contain carbon. This means it’s safer and more effective? Wrong. The human body is 18% carbon. Carbon is not a harmful chemical in sunscreen meaning we are back at square one trying to decide why a company wants to advertise they removed a harmless ingredient, I have a notion as to why. Upon doing my research on Burt’s Bees sunscreen I observed the comments only to find consensual agreement among many of the consumers with comments like “I recently switched to this product after learning about how bad chemical sunscreens are for you” and “I prefer not to use chemical sunscreens”.  Comments like these show that consumers are often unaware of the true meaning, in the eyes of producers, of “chemical free”. I must admit before doing my research on this topic I had a false security in the meaning also. If I had a young child I might have purchased this product assuming it was safer for my child.

               Giving Burt’s Bees the benefit of the doubt I am going to assume they are trying to convey the message that there are no health concerns when using their sunscreen. I think a more appropriate advertisement for Burt’s Bees sunscreen would be to advertise there are no “harmful chemicals” and to emphasize the fact that their sunscreen is both UVA and UVB protective. Many sunscreens are not this way! Through all of my research this is not to say I dislike the product but rather I feel it is necessary to work to inform the public that many products like shampoo, lotion, and makeup can often ploy customers based on information the public observes the statements as the producer desires rather than the truth behind their statement.

*About Me*

Hello my name Is Taylor Singleton, I am 18 years old, from Hendersonville, North Carolina. I am a freshman at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. I compete on the Track and Field team and this semester is my first season competing here and I am ecstatic. I am in Chemistry 131 talking about a variety of things but looking at them with there chemical composition in mind and how it affects our planet. I look forward to the people reading this to accompany me on my journey with my first blog.